Part two of our Helpful Hints.
Now you know what job / area you want, how do you get started?.Look at the adverts, read them carefully. Ask yourself the two cardinal questions:
Is it the job for me?
Do I have the qualities the employer is seeking?
If you answer ‘yes’ to both look at the contact details; most adverts will detail where to obtain further information – follow this exactly, the easiest is usually to look online. Read the job description and person specification and if you can still answer ‘yes’ then it’s time to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). Person Specifications often detail the perfect employee and employers hope for someone to ‘tick’ all the boxes but they are realistic enough to know it’s unlikely to find a 100% match. So if you match the essential qualities and many of the desirable aspects then it’s probably worth applying.
Your ApplicationNow comes the really hard bit, writing your application. If it’s online then either print out a blank copy or jot down the questions, this allows you to work on your responses. Name and address should be quite easy but those bigger more vague boxes really deserve your full attention this is where you get the chance to outline exactly why you’re the person they’ve been waiting for. Read the question, think about the job description and then draft a reply. Read it back to yourself, does it really do you justice, cover the points raised and give the recruiter the information they really need? Only when you’re absolutely positive it’s right should you fill it in, if it’s an online form then it’s worth typing your answer in Word to spell check it (in English UK not US) and proof the text. I regularly type fro instead of for and of course the spell check recognises it as a correct word but it makes complete nonsense, not a good impression on an application. If it’s a paper application then check the instructions; for example, does the ink colour matter? If you can photocopy the blank application and make sure you can put all you want to say in the boxes whilst keeping it legible. Once your application is complete save or print out a copy of an online application or take a photocopy of a paper application. Then send it and keep your fingers crossed. It’s helpful to keep your copy of the application, the information received and the original advert together so that if you’re lucky enough to be shortlisted for interview you have all the information together and don’t need to phone us for a duplicate of the advert (you’d be surprised how many people do).
CVs next week, if you can't wait read everything here.